By Susan Armstrong
Weight control instead of weight gain is the focus when feeding pet pigs. Because pigs love to eat, they are prone to becoming overweight. It is our job as pet pig owners to control our pig’s food intake providing the correct diet as well as amount fed. Food consumption must be limited, not free fed. Remember, appetite is NOT a reason to feed your pig. Pigs enjoy eating even when they are not hungry.
It is recommended that your miniature pet pig eat a ration made specifically to meet a mini pig’s nutritional needs. Store feed in an air tight container to keep it fresh, away from moisture and other contaminates. Always keep the food out of piggy’s reach!
Feed your pig according to her own need. Increase or decrease to control the weight of your pig. Always offer fresh, clean water before feeding. Several factors that determine the correct amount to feed are:
The pig’s individual metabolic rate
The pig’s age
The pig’s level of activity and exercise
The pig’s current body condition
Supplements should be added based on individual needs and recommendations from your veterinarian, animal nutrition specialist or potbellied pig professional.
The only acceptable foods for your pig are in the Grain, Vegetable or Fruit categories, preferred fed fresh. Do No Feed: Salt, sugar, cat/dog food, meat/poultry/fish products, milk products, cooked left overs or canned foods. Never feed your pig chocolate and make yourself aware of plants that are poisonous to your pig.
A well balanced diet will promote a happy, healthy long life for your pig. Treats are not necessary for a well balanced diet. A pet pig who “gets her way” with food is more likely to misbehave, so – No Free Food! Treats should be used only occasionally to reinforce good behavior or when trick training and never given when behavior is inappropriate.